Monday, 17 June 2019

Trinity and Wisdom

To the majority of you here it will come as no surprise that Wisdom is a woman! “She takes her stand, she cries out.Does not Wisdom call and does not understanding raise her voice?” We have this reading on Trinity Sunday to help us begin to contemplate the mystery of God. St. Augustine said “If you think you understand something then that something is not God.” Or try this: Looking for God is like looking directly into the sun - there is brilliance, warmth, absolute brightness but so much unknown and unseen. Because of the difficulty of the topic I have in recent years delegated the preaching on the Trinity to the curate ……

We know that this subject of the Trinity was difficult for the early church, that the creed we say was only agreed in 381 BC and then under pressure from Constantine the Great, we know that it is difficult for other faiths to accept - Muslims consider us polytheist  and yet it is a defining part of our belief. The test for a church wanting to jon Churches together in England is are they trinitarian?

The passage about Wisdom is wonderful imagery but I also suggest it is a helpful place to begin thinking about the nature of God.

“The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago; when there were no depths I was brought forth; When he established the heavens I was there , when he drew a circle on the face of the deep … then I was beside him…. And I was daily his delight.”

A mysterious and beautiful  passage but also revealing. The first of God’s acts shows that God is NOT solitary. That God who created the world is rich complex diverse and unfathomable should not be a surprise; that he is not to be represented as a bearded white male and so somehow alienated from many millions who have other identities is clear. Wisdom was beside him and we are told that SHE and God rejoice together, “I was daily his delight”

Wisdom and God have a relationship and so there is an emotion there, even before creation.

God is ever revealing himself and God can only reveal Godself (himself, herself) as God is - there can be no distortion - God cannot reveal anything that is not God - our understanding is of course severely limited but what we are shown can only be God

And so the beginning is the creation of the world - God showing us a glimpse of wonder, beauty and perfection that we barely know even after all these thousands of years.

Secondly the disciples understood in the end, if slowly and stumblingly that Jesus was divine - but as well they could see that he was separate from the Father. After all Jesus prayed to the Father - there is a relationship between them.





At Pentecost which we explored last Sunday the disciples experience a power amongst them and within them which allows them to begin the work of the church - reconciling the imperfectly understood languages but a sign of this. They knew, for they had seen Jesus leave them, that the Holy Spirit was not Jesus; they had heard him say “I will ask the Father and he will send you a counsellor to be among you.” They knew there was a relationship between them.

Again, God can only reveal God. These three elements of revealing tell us something, The doctrine of the Trinity redescribes God in the light of the EVENTS , the events of creation, of the coming of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of God’s transforming spirit.

Just as we saw that there was a relationship at the start - so there is one between the three. The three indwell and pervade each other, an infinite current of love streams without ceasing (we heard - I was ever his delight - there was always love, there was love before anything) and it streams unceasingly between the three persons of the trinity. The Greeks, and this may be the only word of Greek I ever use - called this perichoresis - we have no word for this - no word for the perfect flowing of love - no way of describing how God is love and always has been but God reveals through Jesus and the Holy Spirit that this is so and that he wants a relationship with us.


Amen

No comments:

Post a comment